KANDAHAR: A Taliban attack on a district headquarter in Afghanistan’s southern Uruzgan province has killed at least seven people, says an Afghan official.
Chief Administrative Official Abdul Kareem Karimi in Khas Uruzgan district, says that five police officers, a former district chief and a school principal were among those killed in the pre-dawn attack there on Monday.
He says that even with the limited number of policemen they have in the district, they are still in control – but that they may lose it unless reinforcements arrive soon.
The insurgents have stepped up attacks on Afghan soldiers and police in recent months, after United States and Nato forces formally ended their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of last year.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the Khas Uruzgan attack.
Read more: Bloody battles with Taliban rocking Afghanistan in US absence
The Afghan Taliban’s annual “spring offensive” began in April, with the militant outfit vowing nationwide attacks in what is expected to be the bloodiest fighting season in a decade as Nato forces pull back from the frontlines.
This year’s offensive marks the first fighting season in which Afghan forces will battle the insurgents without the full support of US-led foreign combat troops.
“The Islamic Emirate is going to launch the spring operations under the inspirational name of ‘Azm’ (Determination) at 5 am on 24th April 2015,” the Taliban said in a statement in April
“The main targets of these operations… will be the foreign occupiers, especially their permanent military bases… officials of the stooge regime, their military constellations, especially their intelligence, interior ministry and defence ministry officials.”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a visit to Kabul last week pledged his support in the Afghan government’s fight against the Taliban, saying that Pakistan had the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
“We agreed that peace and stability in the region will remain elusive until the menace of terrorism afflicting the region is comprehensively addressed.”